Obesity epidemic morphs into cancer epidemic

Queensland researchers estimate that a quarter of all obesity-related cancers could be attributed to 30 years of collective weight gain around the world.

They say that about 3.6% of cancers worldwide – or nearly half a million new cancer cases a year – were caused by excess body weight accumulated since 1982.

In Australia, the percentage is similar, with 3.4% of all cancers in men (2,350 new cases) and 7.4% (3,782 new cases) in women diagnosed in 2012 attributable to overweight and obesity, says lead researcher Dr Nirmala Pandeya of Queensland University.

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